Bassmaster Opens Pro, Chad Smith, goes over his top three must have baits for spring time fishing in Florida.
The first is a chatterbait/bladed jig. This bait helps cover a lot of water and is something Chad uses often when he is offshore. His preferred rod is a 7’4” MH Glass for extra give when the fish initially strikes. For reels he opts for a slower gear ratio to keep the bait lower in the water column where it stays in contact with grass during the retrieve.
Bait number two is a great searchbait up shallow. Any boot tailed bait that can be texas rigged on a big 5/0 hook will work. Chad opts to add a small bullet weight and peg to allow it to come through cover easily. Straight braid with a stout 7’6” H casting rod will allow you to pull fish out of the thickest cover. His reel choice is fast… He needs something that will pick up slack line quickly and get fish out of the cover in an instant.
The third and probably most well known bait is a Junebug colored Speed Worm. The key to this bait is its versatility, not just in the spring but all year long. Chad likes to texas rig this bait on a worm hook and will pick different sized bullet weights to match the depth he is fishing. For this setup he likes to use a braid to fluorocarbon leader. Fluoro for the stealth and braid to cut through the thick Florida vegetation. He uses a 7’3” MH Casting rod with a fast gear ratio reel.